Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada announces judicial appointments in the province of Nova Scotia

News release

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada announces judicial appointments in the province of Nova Scotia

March 28, 2022 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Justice Canada  

The Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today announced the following appointments under the judicial application process established in 2016. This process emphasizes transparency, merit, and the diversity of the Canadian population, and will continue to ensure the appointment of jurists who meet the highest standards of excellence and integrity.

The Honourable Aleta Cromwell, a Judge of the Provincial Court of Nova Scotia in Halifax, is appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia, Family Division. Justice Cromwell fills the last of seven positions allocated to the Family Division further to the Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No.1.

Lorne J. MacDowell, Q.C., President, Lawyer, and Owner at Pickup MacDowell in Port Hawkesbury, is appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia. Justice MacDowell replaces Justice L.J. Dellapinna (Halifax), who elected to become a supernumerary judge effective June 5, 2018.  The Chief Justice has transferred Justice T. Forgeron (Sydney) into this vacancy. The vacancy is therefore located in Sydney.

Daniel W. Ingersoll, Q.C., Managing Partner at Cox & Palmer in Halifax, is appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia. Justice Ingersoll replaces Justice C.A. Beaton (Halifax), who was elevated to the Court of Appeal effective June 22, 2019.


 “I wish Justices Cromwell, MacDowell and Ingersoll every success as they take on their new roles. I am confident they will serve the people of Nova Scotia well as members of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia.”

—The Hon. David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada


Justice Aleta Cromwell is Mi’kmaw from Membertou, an Indigenous community located in Unama’ki (Cape Breton Island), and African Nova Scotian from Whitney Pier. She holds an undergraduate degree in Biology (1995) and a LL.B (1998), both from Dalhousie University.

Justice Cromwell articled and practised law with the Nova Scotia Department of Justice, Legal Services Division from 1998 to 2020 as a solicitor and a civil litigator, handling general litigation and child protection and adult protection matters. Following a six-month secondment to the Schulich School of Law as the Acting Director of the Indigenous Blacks & Mi’kmaq Initiative, she was appointed to the Provincial and Family Court of Nova Scotia in July 2020 and sat in the Provincial Court in Halifax. She received her Queen’s Counsel designation in 2018 and was the recipient of the Canadian Bar Association – Nova Scotia 2019 Community Service Award. 

Justice Cromwell was actively involved with the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society as a member of council and of numerous committees, including serving as co-chair of the Racial Equity Committee. She was President of the Nova Scotia Chapter of the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers and has volunteered with the Indigenous Blacks & Mi’kmaq Initiative as a mentor. She is a past member of the Board of Directors for the Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia and the Boys and Girls Club of Dartmouth. 

Justice Cromwell and her husband, Douglas, have two children. 

Justice Lorne J. MacDowell, Q.C., was born and raised in Sydney Mines, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and graduated from Memorial High School. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree from Mount Allison University in 1980 and a Bachelor of Law degree from Dalhousie University in 1983.

Justice MacDowell articled and has practised law in Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia since 1983, first with Leblanc MacDonald and Pickup, where he became a partner and then with Pickup MacDowell, a firm he founded with Justice Arthur W.D. Pickup (retired) in 1995. He continued with that firm until his appointment to the bench. Over the course of his 37-year career, he has built an extensive practice in the field of child protection litigation, with significant experience in municipal law, family and civil litigation and other fields. He has appeared before all levels of court in the province as well as before the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board. He has served as an Adjudicator of the Nova Scotia Small Claims Court and an Assessment Appeal Court Vice Chairman. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2002.

Justice MacDowell has contributed to his profession by serving as a member of the Nova Scotia Barristers Society Council and on various committees, including the Investigative Subcommittee and the Complaints Review Committee. He has volunteered on various boards and community organizations.

Justice MacDowell is an avid golfer, hockey player and outdoorsman. He is a proud Cape Bretoner. He and his wife, Janet, are the parents of two amazing daughters, Kenzie and Carly and the grandparents of three equally amazing grandsons Jake, Cole and Ellis.

Justice Daniel W. Ingersoll, Q.C., born and raised on Grand Manan Island, received his Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from Mount Allison University in 1986 and his Bachelor of Laws from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1989. He was admitted to the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society in 1990.

Justice Ingersoll articled with Cox Downie & Goodfellow in Halifax and remained with that firm (now Cox & Palmer) as an associate and later partner for 31 years focusing for the past sixteen years on labour, employment, human rights, and administrative law. He has served as Managing Partner since 2019. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2010. 

Throughout his career, Justice Ingersoll has been engaged with his profession and his community. He taught employment law at the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University for six years and served for many years as a director and then as president of the Youth Alternative Society. He was the president of the Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia and served on the Board of Directors of the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council. He has consistently been ranked in the Best Lawyers publication for Labour and Employment Law and has been included as a leading practitioner in the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory.

Justice Ingersoll and his wife, Cindy, are the proud parents of Luke, Sam and Max. When not in Nova Scotia, they enjoy spending time with their family and friends on Grand Manan.

Quick facts

  • At the Superior Court level, more than 515 judges have been appointed since November 2015. These exceptional jurists represent the diversity that strengthens Canada. Of these judges, more than half are women, and appointments reflect an increased representation of visible minorities, Indigenous, LGBTQ2+, and those who self-identify as having a disability.

  • The Government of Canada is committed to promoting access to justice for all Canadians. To improve outcomes for Canadian families, Budget 2018 provides funding of $77.2 million over four years to support the expansion of unified family courts, beginning in 2019-2020. This investment in the family justice system will create 39 new judicial positions in Alberta, Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

  • Federal judicial appointments are made by the Governor General, acting on the advice of the federal Cabinet and recommendations from the Minister of Justice.

  • The Judicial Advisory Committees across Canada play a key role in evaluating judicial applications. There are 17 Judicial Advisory Committees, with each province and territory represented.

  • Significant reforms to the role and structure of the Judicial Advisory Committees, aimed at enhancing the independence and transparency of the process, were announced on October 20, 2016.

  • The Government of Canada is committed to promoting a justice system in which sexual assault matters are decided fairly, without the influence of myths and stereotypes, and in which survivors are treated with dignity and compassion. Changes to the Judges Act and Criminal Code that came into force on May 6, 2021, mean that in order to be eligible for appointment to a provincial superior court, candidates must agree to participate in continuing education on matters related to sexual assault law and social context, which includes systemic racism and systemic discrimination. The new legislation enhances the transparency of decisions by amending the Criminal Code to require that judges provide written reasons, or enter them into the record, when deciding sexual assault matters.


For more information, media may contact:

Chantalle Aubertin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Justice

Media Relations
Department of Justice Canada

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